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High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service

Inspire Timeless Loyalty in the Demanding New World of Social Commerce: Inspire Timeless Loyalty in the Demanding New World of Social Commerce

By Micah Solomon

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Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
Published In: United States, 01 May 2012
In an age of Twitter, smartphones, and self-service kiosks, high-tech but still high-touch customer service is the answer. Today's customers are a hard bunch to crack. Time-strapped, screen-addicted, value-savvy, and socially engaged, their expectations are tougher than ever for a business to keep up with. They are empowered like never before and expect businesses to respect that sense of empowerment-lashing out at those that don't. Take heart: Old-fashioned customer service, fully retooled for today's blistering pace and digitally connected reality, is what you need to build the kind loyal customer base that allows you to survive-and thrive. And High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service spells out surefire strategies for success in a clear, entertaining, and practical way. Discover: * Six major customer trends and what they mean for your business * Eight unbreakable rules for social media customer service * How to effectively address online complainers and saboteurs on Yelp, Twitter, TripAdvisor, and other forums for user generated content * The rising power of self-service-and how to design it properly * How to build a company culture that breeds stellar customer service High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service reveals inside secrets of wildly successful customer service initiatives, from Internet startups to venerable brands, and shows how companies of every stripe can turn casual customers into fervent supporters who will spread the word far and wide-online and off.

Table of Contents

Contents Introduction 1 Forearmed Is Forewarmed 2 A Light Touch at Just the Right Time 3 Saying Your Business Is ``On the internet'' Is Like Saying It's ``On the Power Grid'' 4 All You Need to Know in a Rhyming Nutshell 5 Homeward Bound 6 Where Tech Makes Loyalty Easier 7 How This Book Is Organized 8 PART ONE Timeliness and Timelessness 9 CHAPTER 1 Today's Changed Customer: Making Lovemaking Difficult 11 The Most Crucial Customer ``Trends'' Today Are Individual Changes 12 Customer Trend 1: Customers Expect Anticipatory Technological Behavior and Aggregated Information-Instantly 12 Customer Trend 2: Shame Shift and Values-Based Buying 14 Customer Trend 3: Timelessness over Trendiness 15 Customer Trend 4: Customer Empowerment 16 Customer Trend 5: The Greening of the Customer 17 Customer Trend 6: The Desire for Self-Service 18 ``And Your Point Is?'' 19 CHAPTER 2 The Customer Remains the Same: Everything That Isn't New Under the Sun 21 Providing Value: As Easy as 1, 2 . . . 4 22 A Perfect Product or Service 22 Delivered in a Caring, Friendly Manner 23 In a Timely Fashion 25 . . . Backed Up by an Effective Problem-Resolution Process 26 ``And Your Point Is?'' 30 CHAPTER 3 Timeless Customer Service Done Right-and Wrong: Mastery Versus Catastrophe 32 The Masterful Company 32 A Cameo of Catastrophe: Timeless Service Done Tragically Wrong 40 ``And Your Point Is?'' 45 PART TWO High-Tech, High-Touch Anticipatory Customer Service 47 CHAPTER 4 A Google of Apples a Day: The Art of Anticipation in the Modern World of Customer Service 49 The Apple Store Experience 50 From Cradle to Credit Card 53 A Tale of Two Installs 53 Bringing It All Back Home 57 ``Attaching'' Yourself to Customers: Gmail and More 58 ``And Your Point Is?'' 61 CHAPTER 5 Anticipatory Customer Service: Your Culture 63 The Curse of the Short-Term Focus 64 Consciously Building a Company Culture: Why Bother? 66 You Can't Out-Pixar Pixar-But Here's What You Can Do 69 Cultural Friends with Benefits 70 Cultural Fit, Oddballs, and When Not to Hire 71 Positive Peer Pressure: The Double Significance of Every Hiring Decision 72 Vendors: Partners, Not Poison 74 Spelling Out How You Treat Customers, Vendors, and Employees 75 How to Get Started Building Your Core 76 The Best Time to Start? Now. 77 Buy-in or Highwayin' 79 Your Core Values Are Just the Start-But They Are a Start 79 Culture Meets the Larger World 81 How This Plays Out in a Pinch: Southwest's Culture Saves a Service Dog 82 ``And Your Point Is?'' 83 CHAPTER 6 Anticipatory Customer Service: Your People 86 A Wet Dog at Petco 88 Supernatural Selection 89 Trial by Hire 90 ``Fit'' and Its Pitfalls 91 ``And Your Point Is?'' 93 CHAPTER 7 Sangria, Sippy Cups, and Jesse Ventura: Autonomy Versus Standards 95 Patting Down Jesse Ventura 96 The Case for Autonomy in Customer Service Work 98 The Need for Standards 101 Standards and Autonomy: The Hybrid Path 102 Pour Lion and PEPI 105 Conveying Standards-And Maintaining Autonomy 106 ``And Your Point Is?'' 107 PART THREE The Rise of Self-Service and Social Media-And Other Seismic Shifts 109 CHAPTER 8 The Rise of Self-Service: A Boon to Your Customers-But Only If You Do It Right 111 Awarding Myself the Mobile Prize 111 Principles of Successful Self-Service 115 ``And Your Point Is?'' 119 CHAPTER 9 Technological Change and Disabled Customers: A True Opportunity, If You Avoid the Missteps 121 There's More to Ramping Up than Putting Ramps Up: A Variety of Issues and Solutions 121 Wynn Some 125 ``And Your Point Is?'' 126 CHAPTER 10 Shoulder Your Customer's Burden (and Make Sure You're Not Adding to It!) 127 Stupid Stuff 127 Stupid Is as . . . I Forget 128 Get to Them First 132 Where Are the Opportunities to Get to Them First? 133 Permission to Anticipate 136 The Specific Medium Is the Message-And Its Only Chance of Getting Through 139 ``And Your Point Is?'' 140 Chapter 11 Anti-Social Media: Fears and Hazards of the New Landscape 142 Bicycle Pumps and Veterinarians 142 Regime Change in 140 Characters 143 Ouch: The First Time They Talk About You 143 Nobody Uses Twitter to Tell a Friend His Fly's Undone 144 Social Media Is Not a Disease 146 A Story That Almost Became a Viral Tweet 146 ``And Your Point Is?'' 148 CHAPTER 12 Social Service: Principles for Social Media Customer Service 149 Principle 1: Avoid the Fiasco Formula: A Digital Stitch in Time Saves Nine (Million) 150 Principle 2: Lie Back and Think of England: Digital Arguments with Customers Are an Exponentially Losing Proposition 150 Principle 3: Turn Twankers into Thankers: Reach Out Directly to Online Complainers 151 Princip le 4: Consider Getting a Complainer on the Telephone (with Permission)-Even if the Relationship Started in Social Media Land 154 Principle 5: Get Happy Outcomes into the Public Eye 155 Principle 6: Use Social Media and Personal Email to Make Your Customers Feel Important 155 Principle 7: Monitor 156 Principle 8: If Your Social Media Responses Are Inferior to-Or Not Integrated with-Your Other Channels, They're Hurting Your Brand 157 ``And Your Point Is?'' 158 CHAPTER 13 Listening: Your Ears Are Your Most Important Technology 160 Only One Perspective That Matters 160 Sanctuary Much: The S.M.A.R.T. Approach to the Human Force Field 162 Using Electronic Systems to Enhance Your Listening 165 It's All About Listening-And It Starts by Opening Yourself to Hearing 169 The Maytag Repairman Lets You Slap Him in the Facebook 169 Break It to Ourselves More Gently 172 Surveying the Landscape 173 ``And Your Point Is?'' 175 Notes 179 Index 191

About the Author

MICAH SOLOMON (Seattle, WA) has been named by the Financial Post as "a new guru of customer service excellence." He is a top keynote speaker and consultant on customer service issues, the customer experience, and company culture. A successful entrepreneur, he coauthored the bestselling Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit. His expertise has been featured in FastCompany, Inc. Magazine, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Forbes.com, NBC and ABC television programming, and elsewhere.

Reviews

."..cogent and clear primer for business owners leery of social media, featuring clear, organized takeaways and a firm, encouraging tone." --"Publishers Weekly" ."..reminds us that genuine customer service isn't an afterthought... It is a continuing approach to meeting customers' changing needs on an ongoing basis." --"Inland Business Journal" ."..easy-to-read format that blends clear and practical solutions, written intelligently in a style that is relaxed and personal (and often quite funny)." --"FastForward Income" ."..great read for anyone looking to design and deliver better customer experiences with the help of technology." --"ReviewPro" ."..must-read for any business leader...the content content is grounded in decades of experience and proven methodology." --"Eric Jacobson On Management And Leadership" ."..the seminal work about how to handle your customers in this social media marketing high-tech, high-touch world." --"IConnect007" ."..should be read by all business executives...an important book about the negative impact social media has had on the business world." "--Blogcritics" .".extremely valuable to all entrepreneurs, information marketers and business owners to think about, today more than ever." --"Greg Rollett, Rockstar Lifestyle Design" ."..will transform your thinking, your goals and vision, your approach to customer service, and your entire company culture into one that builds and sustains high-touch customer service..." "--BlogBusinessWorld.com" ."..for anyone in business seeking to provide great customer service. The lessons can be applied to the business practices of a mom-and-pop shop or a billion dollar corporation." --"StellaService" ."..presents all sorts of practical advice (and real world examples) to organizations on how to adapt to the new balance of power that social media presents." "--CIO Digest" .".a must-read for any business leader. And, fortunately, the content is grounded in decades of experience and proven methodology." "--Examiner.com" -I've never told folks who read our blog that you have to do something...But this time, I'm telling you. You need to read the book.- --CPI blog -..a must-read for any business leader. And, fortunately, the content is grounded in decades of experience and proven methodology.- --Examiner.com -The book is a must-read for any business leader. And, fortunately, the content is grounded in decades of experience and proven methodology.- --Eric Jacobson on Management and Leadership -...for anyone in business seeking to provide great customer service. The lessons can be applied to the business practices of a mom-and-pop shop or a billion dollar corporation.- --StellaService -I hope companies pick up this book and implement its ideas right away! If done right, companies can easily have customers for life.- --Portland Book Review -...presents all sorts of practical advice (and real world examples) to organizations on how to adapt to the new balance of power that social media presents.- --CIO Digest -Micah's new book is right up my alley! ...This book was fantastic...- --It is Alive in the Lab -Sharp, witty and full of practical tools and examples, his text is a fine blend of entertaining read and things I can start doing Monday morning...- --Independent Agent -...will transform your thinking, your goals and vision, your approach to customer service, and your entire company culture into one that builds and sustains high-touch customer service...- --BlogBusinessWorld.com -..extremely valuable to all entrepreneurs, information marketers and business owners to think about, today more than ever.- --Greg Rollett, Rockstar Lifestyle Design -...should be read by all business executives...an important book about the negative impact social media has had on the business world.- --Blogcritics -This 5-star book is eye-opening, entertaining, and above all, emphatically practical...for anyone in business striving...to keep up with technology and to keep their customers.- --Clark's Eye-on-Books -...great read for anyone looking to design and deliver better customer experiences with the help of technology.- --ReviewPro -...must-read for any business leader...the content content is grounded in decades of experience and proven methodology.- --Eric Jacobson On Management And Leadership -Micah offers us a view into the client's paradigm TODAY, and reveals how to deliver world class customer service.- --PM Knowledge Transfer -...easy-to-read format that blends clear and practical solutions, written intelligently in a style that is relaxed and personal (and often quite funny).- --FastForward Income -...reminds us that genuine customer service isn't an afterthought... It is a continuing approach to meeting customers' changing needs on an ongoing basis.- --Inland Business Journal -...the seminal work about how to handle your customers in this social media marketing high-tech, high-touch world.- --IConnect007 -Solomon has written a book that touches on all of the major issues surrounding customer service.- --Suite101.com -This book is IDEAL for business owners who sell to consumers...you will find examples and lessons galore.- --Small Business Trends -...cogent and clear primer for business owners leery of social media, featuring clear, organized takeaways and a firm, encouraging tone.- --Publishers Weekly "I've never told folks who read our blog that you have to do something...But this time, I'm telling you. You need to read the book." --CPI blog .."a must-read for any business leader. And, fortunately, the content is grounded in decades of experience and proven methodology." --Examiner.com "The book is a must-read for any business leader. And, fortunately, the content is grounded in decades of experience and proven methodology." --Eric Jacobson on Management and Leadership ..".for anyone in business seeking to provide great customer service. The lessons can be applied to the business practices of a mom-and-pop shop or a billion dollar corporation." --StellaService "I hope companies pick up this book and implement its ideas right away! If done right, companies can easily have customers for life." --Portland Book Review ..".presents all sorts of practical advice (and real world examples) to organizations on how to adapt to the new balance of power that social media presents." --CIO Digest "Micah's new book is right up my alley! ...This book was fantastic..." --It is Alive in the Lab "Sharp, witty and full of practical tools and examples, his text is a fine blend of entertaining read and things I can start doing Monday morning..." --Independent Agent ..".will transform your thinking, your goals and vision, your approach to customer service, and your entire company culture into one that builds and sustains high-touch customer service..." --BlogBusinessWorld.com .."extremely valuable to all entrepreneurs, information marketers and business owners to think about, today more than ever." --Greg Rollett, Rockstar Lifestyle Design ..".should be read by all business executives...an important book about the negative impact social media has had on the business world." --Blogcritics "This 5-star book is eye-opening, entertaining, and above all, emphatically practical...for anyone in business striving...to keep up with technology and to keep their customers." --Clark's Eye-on-Books ..".great read for anyone looking to design and deliver better customer experiences with the help of technology." --ReviewPro ..".must-read for any business leader...the content content is grounded in decades of experience and proven methodology." --Eric Jacobson On Management And Leadership "Micah offers us a view into the client's paradigm TODAY, and reveals how to deliver world class customer service." --PM Knowledge Transfer ..".easy-to-read format that blends clear and practical solutions, written intelligently in a style that is relaxed and personal (and often quite funny)." --FastForward Income ..".reminds us that genuine customer service isn't an afterthought... It is a continuing approach to meeting customers' changing needs on an ongoing basis." --Inland Business Journal ..".the seminal work about how to handle your customers in this social media marketing high-tech, high-touch world." --IConnect007 "Solomon has written a book that touches on all of the major issues surrounding customer service." --Suite101.com "This book is IDEAL for business owners who sell to consumers...you will find examples and lessons galore." --Small Business Trends ..".cogent and clear primer for business owners leery of social media, featuring clear, organized takeaways and a firm, encouraging tone." --Publishers Weekly

EAN: 9780814417904
ISBN: 0814417906
Publisher: Amacom
Dimensions: 24.21 x 16.26 x 2.11 centimetres (0.36 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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